The Australian Londoners

Former Radio Caroline Senior DJ Bryan Vaughan told The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame about a programme made for Australian television in 1965. Called The Australian Londoners it was presented by Rolf Harris and looked at the lives of a number of expat Australians living and working in London, including Barry Humphries, Jack Brabham, Ron Grainer and many others. The programme contained a segment filmed in Caroline House and on the mv Mi Amigo, home of Radio Caroline South, featuring Bryan, Jon Sydney, Colin Nicol, various other Australian staff members and their boss, Allan Crawford. Bryan very kindly sent us a copy of the programme. It had never been shown on British television so the footage was completely new to us - and fascinating.
 
The DVD included a credit for the programme maker, Stefan Sargent, and a quick search on the internet revealed that Stefan was still working as a film-maker. We emailed to ask his permission to include some of the Caroline footage on The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame. Not only did he grant permission, he even went to the trouble of uploading that segment of his original master onto YouTube for us. We are very grateful to Stefan for his help and to Bryan for the suggestion.
 
So, from 1965, this is the Radio Caroline segment of The Australian Londoners, narrated by Rolf Harris:


The programme was broadcast in Australia on 28th November 1965. It proved controversial - a number of the Australians in the programme said they preferred living in London, which provoked something of an outcry back home. It became such a matter of public debate that the programme was repeated twice the following week!
 
We asked Bryan if he could remember being filmed for the programme: “I must admit to being a little vague on the details after more than 40 years. There were several occasions when news crews and documentary makers came out to the ship and you would sometimes see their efforts on British television weeks or months later if they bothered to let you know. I seem to remember Stefan's visit. It was unique because he was an Australian film-maker and because of his concentration on all the Aussies involved in Radio Caroline. As you can see in the studio shots, there wasn't a whole lot of room for a camera crew but it does give an excellent glimpse of the equipment of the time. I had never seen Stefan's programme until very recently, although my family probably wrote to me about it after it was shown on the Nine Network in Sydney. I am pretty sure that The Australian Londoners - Radio Caroline Story was filmed in the summer of 1965. I notice I am wearing what we call in Australia rubber thongs (footwear not underwear!) - flip-flops as you call them - so it definitely wasn't cold weather in the North Sea. Caroline had a new image and all of us were known as the Good Guys (an idea stolen from WMCA New York and Radio 2SM Sydney!). We did a huge amount of promotions and I guess that this documentary was one of them.”
 
The unidentified person being interviewed by Colin Nicol in the video is singer Bobby Vinton. Thanks to Colin for pointing that out. Thanks also to Bryan Vaughan and Stefan Sargent.


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